So I was working on my volunteer mileage spreadsheet today, and I am at 2000 miles for 2015 already! Thank goodness for my trusty Ford Escape (and the fact that it's a hybrid). I bought it used off Ebay in 2010, and it's now got just over 100,000 miles on it. (Incidentally, it will make the 3000-mile trip back to Colorado next month. Long-time friend Sandy is coming to Alaska to join me and Luna for our sojourn south at the end of Collin's contract.)
Most people know that I did a lot of hospice work for HopeWest back in Colorado. Once established here in Fairbanks, I dove right into volunteer work for the local hospice organization doing primarily patient care visits, facilitating grief groups, and working a half-day shift in the office doing clerical stuff.
And finally, I work for the senior center, doing wellness visits with their Meals on Wheels participants. Given that Alaska is experiencing a Silver Tsunami, and we have the greatest rate of seniors per capita of anywhere, various agencies are looking at ways to help seniors stay home, or "aging in place." Our team of wellness advocates interviews seniors and tries to identify problems or deficiencies that could be improved in their current living condition, in hopes of keeping them there longer.
I feel so privileged to meet these old timers and hear their stories. As a newcomer to Alaska, I'm a good audience for their tales of hard work and wild adventure in the Last Frontier. My biggest challenge is time management, as I could spend hours with each one of them!